Fitness, Pinterest, & Postpartum Body Image

After S, I lost all the baby weight and then some by about 4 months postpartum, mostly thanks to her food sensitivities. But then I gained some of it back and my weight would fluctuate up and down until I got pregnant with Ellie.
Almost the same thing has happened this time, but it’s been more of a struggle for me this time than last time, both to lose the weight and in how I think about myself.
In addition, other healing has been slower this time around, mostly with diastasis recti. After S I had a teeny one that resolved itself just by being careful for a few months. This time, my midwife said I had a small one, so I checked it myself and it was about 2 fingers and weak but not too deep. By the time we moved it seemed more normal, so I stopped being very careful, which was a horrible idea 2.5 months postpartum while carrying and wearing a baby, a toddler, and lots of stuff, and either I hadn’t been measuring it well or it re-opened to about 3 fingers. It was hard to come to terms with that, both it reopening and being there in the first place, since I had been so careful while I was pregnant. I am still glad I was careful while pregnant because not only could it have been worse, but I was still fairly connected to my core and pelvic floor so that has made it all a little easier.

I’ve slowly been working on closing it again and building strength for more intense exercise with Fit2B (in large part thanks to my sister Cait in a number of ways!), and while my gap isn’t totally closed again I still wanted to write some about it because it has been SO good for me, not just physically, but in how I view my body. I didn’t realize some of the struggles I was having until I started Fit2B and kept hearing Beth talk about being thankful for what my body has done (not bashing it in my thoughts while trying to “get it back”) and how it has been made and used for its purpose. For me that’s also been paired with being surrounded by more older women than I have been for a long time, and I have been challenged just by watching them to not be so concerned with clothes and fitness and all the latest social media fads (things that I never would have thought I was swayed by until I was surrounded by people who aren’t!). And last year I heard a lot of women talk about poor examples their mothers set for them with food and exercise and body image and am so thankful for my mother’s GOOD example of health and moderation, something I pray I will pass on to my girls even as it takes so much self-discipline for me – to eat healthily but not over analyze, to exercise but not obsess, to heal my core but not make it about looking a certain way, to dress in a way that honors God and is respectful to others (right now I don’t love a lot of my clothes, but they’re just that: clothes. If they fit, if they’re cotton, if they’re modest… right now, they stay. I could buy others, but I feel like with the world the way it is that money should go elsewhere, instead of me having a shirt that’s a little more flattering than the old one).

I still have a long way to go, physically (my gap is still about 1.5-2 fingers and deeper than it should be, and I would like to run again but want to gain some more core strength first), but even more to renew my mind to be content with my body the way it is (how it looks & what it can do), eating simple food (read: staying off Pinterest), making do with what we have (not the latest mama/baby gadget), not being so concerned with how so and so disciplines their kids and what they think of me – just generally not being so self-conscious and focused on things that will pass away.
Because as long as the days are right now and as much of a struggle as it is to say no to cravings, this season of littles is going to pass away, this body is going to just deteriorate more, and what’s left is their souls and my soul and that’s where my energy should be going.
Pray for me to be growing in that!

A couple links that have been helpful to me:
Dear Postpartum Mama, You are Beautiful
129 Times to Turn on your Transverse Abs
10 Times to Align
Bare Naked Gratitude
5 Mom Posture Tips
a few more DR links here
This recent podcast from Risen Motherhood has some good thoughts on who you hang out with!

Happy Birthday, Ezra

Ezra’s birthday is coming up and I wanted to give him his own post… not to highlight milestones like I do with the girls but because I want to publically praise God for him and share some of the ways he supports, challenges, and encourages me.

One of the things I continue to be amazed at is how he has been just what I have needed in the craziness of the last three years with all the moves, changes, and PPD, and the specific needs and challenges that has brought and the girls have. I honestly don’t know where I would be without him – especially with PPD he has been one of the clearest ways I see God’s help and grace, in the way he has supported me physically (taking the girls night or day, doing dishes, cooking dinner, helping me think through things to de-stress and calm down) and spiritually (praying with and for me, reminding me of scripture and hymns, seeking counsel with and for me, offering me hope). He’s put up with a lot of moodiness from me in the last year and is so gentle and gracious about it.

He watches the girls so I can do things like go to ladies’ Bible study and play oboe for my friend’s music appreciation class (and once they were on the same day; I felt like I had the day off!).

He always has solid, balanced, biblical wisdom for me and others, which I especially need as it’s so easy for me to be black-and-white and rule-oriented instead of being gracious and seeing what the Bible puts forward as nonnegotiable and in what areas we have Christian liberty.

His devotional life  – watching and listening to him pray has been a challenge to me to not let my prayer and Bible reading become just a check in the box.

His diligence in preparing for seminary – studying Greek and some counseling in his spare time to not be overwhelmed when he officially starts, and his making our family a priority as we look ahead to a different lifestyle when he goes back to school. And on top of that, all the yard work and gardening he does!

The way he shepherds our family, teaching and explaining scripture to S as well as doing the same for lifeskills, and the way he plays with the girls – I love hearing them laugh and shriek with him. They both adore him and I love to see that. And for our recently-begun weekly prayer times just the two of us.

Ezra, I’m so thankful for you and I’m glad we get to celebrate you together this year!

 

Fruit Sweetened Mint Chocolate Milkshake

I heard about Starbucks’ Midnight Mint Frappuchino during my 21 Day Sugar Detox. It sounded so good (mint chocolate is my favorite flavor of almost anything) and wanted to try it, but looking at the calendar couldn’t find a place I could really fit it in with my new one big treat a month rule, because of some better opportunities like Salt & Straw in June and Tillamook in July… plus it’s expensive and unhealthy and I don’t even like coffee (but I still reaaally wanted it!).
During my dairy reintroduction I had thawed some cream cheese, which doesn’t freeze well, and knew it had to be used in a smoothie/milkshake, so decided to attempt something mint chocolatey to satisfy my Midnight Mint craving.
And it worked! I don’t have a photo for this recipe because I really don’t know how to take good food photos in general but even less of drinks, but here’s the recipe and I know I’ll be making it again!

Fruit Sweetened Mint Chocolate Milkshake
serves 2-3

1 c milk of your choice (since I was reintroducing dairy, I used whole cow’s milk, but almond or coconut milk should work too, it just might be less rich and creamy)
4 oz cream cheese (ricotta or cottage cheese would work as well, or a mild plain yogurt. If you can’t do dairy, try coconut or cashew cream)
2 frozen bananas
1/2 c frozen spinach
1/4 tsp mint extract
splash of vanilla extract (it was probably about 1/2 tsp)
1/2 c cocoa
3 ice cubes (optional, I added these because it wasn’t quite cold enough)
3 Tbsp collagen (optional)

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Then I ended up sticking it in the freezer in a stainless steel cup for about an hour because it was part of my lunch but S’s was for later and I wanted to avoid a meltdown. So when I pulled it out the top and sides were starting to freeze and that just made it all the more perfect.

Hidden veggies, no sweetener, and still rich mint chocolatey goodness. I really had to exercise self-control to not devour S’s while she was napping…

May

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A wet, rainy hike we took while my dad was visiting.
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It is really nice to have so much hiking close enough for day trips and even some morning or evening hikes.
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We also saw an otter!
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breakfast & a great read. Ellie and I have been getting up before S lately and I love having a few minutes to exercise, read, or make breakfast before it gets too crazy.

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We all loved having my brother here for a few days. S loved that he could help her climb higher than mommy can. 😉 After he left, Ezra’s mom and one of his sisters came up for a few days. The timing of all the visits was perfect, especially as Ellie had been having a lot of bad nights so that meant I didn’t have to be exhausted AND chasing the girls all day because they were having so much fun playing with Uncle Nate, Grandma, and Aunt Susannah.

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“Handel and his mommy,” by S.

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reintroducing food after the 21 Day Sugar Detox has been a rollercoaster because we never pinpointed what was giving me trouble, but I have really enjoyed not feeling limited and making some of the recipes I saved during the detox or have had saved for a while.

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I love the fallen petals, especially when it seems like it’s snowing.

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While I was on the 21DSD, Ezra and S made cookies to take to neighbors that just moved in. He felt bad if I made them since I couldn’t eat them… But then he grabbed the masa instead of the white flour we keep for crafts, which led to some frustration but they still turned out! And surprisingly, I had no cookie cravings, though I was tempted to freeze some dough to bake later.
Then we delivered them just as a thunderstorm was starting, and afterwards hung out in our garage watching the rain and lightening. S asked, “where’s the flashlight in the sky, papa?”

We also went camping, but I put those photos in another post.
And I took no photos, but made soap this month for the first time!

And we went OUT for a date for the first time since Christmas… only to prove that we totally fail at out of the house date night. Our last 3:
– before Ellie was born Hannah stayed with a sleeping S and we went out… But the only place still open in walking distance was McDonald’s because we had forgotten that we were going to go out that night and S had gotten to bed late.
– at Christmas we went into town and wandered around then got soup and a milkshake we were only half interested in.
– this time, we were going to go to a ballroom dance class, but arrived to find out it was cancelled so we drove around town but everything non food was closed because it’ s such a small town so we came home and watched a movie before picking up the girls, and were going to have kale chips but I burned them.

Hymns of the month// neither are really hymns, but we were working on the Getty’s “A Mother’s Prayer,” and then I wanted to learn “Goodnight, my Angel,” so we did those this month.

favorite recipes// Thai red curry paste (no more paying $3 for 4 Tbsp…) // beef enchilada bake – I used chicken; it needs about twice the amount of sauce though // banana ice cream // AIP pizza – though I didn’t like it as pizza, but as tortillas // slow roasted pork shoulder // paleo spaghetti and meatballs – no almond flour and one less egg for 2/3 recipe of the meatballs // cheese enchiladas // my sister-in-law and mother-in-law came to visit and Susannah is on a keto diet so I made these and they turned out pretty well! // pumpkin plantain pancakes // Thai sweet potato curry // French Toast Mug // raw buckwheat porridge – this was really good but not that easily digested // savory spinach muffins //

best of online//  hair detangler so I can stop threatening to cut S’s // I am not really a fan of the chatty-style in podcasts, but I really do like Risen Motherhood. This one on getting in the Word as a mom of littles and this one on finding your mama tribe were really encouraging // how to raise an alien child // myths about making soap and the “recipe” I used // Show me my cross // No or Not Yet (this is so encouraging to me after PPD, both the comments on Jesus in the Garden and when God says “no” to our prayers) //

It’s already partway through Ramadan, but to join in praying here’s one prayer guide.

reading of late// Genius of Ancient Man // Messy Grace (Kaltenbach) // Better Late than Early // Holy Labor // None Like Him (Jen Wilkin)

Kids’ books we enjoyed//  lots of Ezra Jack Keats this month!

thinking about// Ellie’s separation anxiety and how my relationship with God should be that way // feeling behind or like there’s not enough time – but there’s enough time ot do His will/what He has for me/what He wants me to do

what brings joy// waking up slowly in a tent in the forest // dairy // having family in our home // surprise day of peace and quiet // S & Ellie shrieking and playing together

The Munchkins// I love seeing how similar they are and how different their personalities are turning out to be. Both girls are so social and high-energy, but Ellie is more nervous around strangers than S was. She’s also more snuggly and more stubborn.

writing// I finally finished my poem. It’s over on apricotpie.

21 DSD Food Log

This is going to be long and detailed, but I want to document it for myself and others since these kinds of blog posts always help me a lot when preparing for anything like this.
If there are “off-plan” ingredients in a recipe I swapped them with something else or left them out. Probably the most common swap was using rutabaga instead of potato.

Day 1.
Food: Omelet with za’atar and nutritional yeast, tea with coconut oil for breakfast, ginger zucchini soup and leftover salad for lunch, spinach, zucchini, and carrot skillet for dinner with modified Sabih from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. Drank lots of water and had cucumbers, nori, and frozen peas for a snack… And caved to some peanut butter in the evening because I haven’t gone shopping yet so don’t have other nuts.
Other: I was less hungry than I anticipated, my mood was pretty good minus everyone being sad Grampa was gone, and energy was normal except I was ready for bed early!

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a well-stocked fridge!
Day 2.
I slept so well last night but felt really woozy when I got out of bed so grabbed the only thing I could just eat right away, which was more peanut butter… Water, tea with coconut oil and collagen, 3.5 eggs and some veggies later I still felt terrible so I decided my body was telling me it needed more carbs so I ate half a cup of buckwheat and felt much better.
Lunch was leftovers from last night’s dinner, snacks were broth, walnuts, and olives, and dinner was guacamole and jicama with more Sabih, at a potluck, the hardest part of which was not eating cheese. Grocery shopping was actually easier because all the things I usually crave when walking through the store I knew were off limits!

Day 3.
Breakfast today was tea with coconut oil & collagen, paleo Yorkshire puddings, snack was some jicama, lunch was garlic carrot soup and more jicama and a hard boiled egg, then olives and walnuts for a snack, followed by salad with olives, walnuts, mustard, and olive oil, and a loose version of the creamy ham soup from the Nourishing Gourmet… And if I get hungry some frozen peas before bed.
I feel great, normal or maybe a tad more alert than usual, but that may be from going to bed earlier or a bit too much arrowroot today.

Day 4.
Almond tahini crusted fish and broccoli tahini soup for dinner. So yummy.
Leftovers for lunch.
Parsnip, egg, and tomato hash for breakfast, with a leftover Yorkshire pudding scarfed down beforehand because I couldn’t get off the couch until I ate something.
Snacked on peas, tea with coconut oil & collagen, almond pulp crackers, onion and carrot crackers, and hard boiled eggs.

Day 5.

The worst morning yet. I rushed to the kitchen with Ellie in tow and scarfed down some peanut butter then grabbed my chia pudding and plopped on the floor before I fell over. Then after I got S up and we spent a long while cuddling I had a cup of kombucha, a hard boiled egg, a small portion of buckwheat, some crackers, and then a bit later some kale chips before I finally felt OK. Moral of the story is eat enough before bed and get enough carbs.
I didn’t feel like eating the leftover fish so had spaghetti squash with some sauce made with tomato paste, nutritional yeast, olives, walnuts, and broth, with a cucumber and 2 eggs on the side.
For dinner, “deconstructed hunter’s pie” – I was too lazy to put our shepherd’s pie all together and then elk was cheaper than beef for some reason. Cauliflower faux tatoes are amazing.
Aside from mornings I still feel great and have had enough energy to walk and do fit2b workouts, and my milk supply has still been great!

Day 6.
I put some carrot onion crackers on the nightstand to eat before getting out of bed and that helped immensely, but I was still super hungry while cooking up this deliciousness of omelet, parsnip hash browns, and avocado. I had what S didn’t eat of hers for a snack.
Lunch 1 was leftovers, lunch 2 was vegan broccoli bowls at a church potluck. I definitely ate more quinoa than ‘allowed’ but there was nothing else compliant like there usually would have been. Not eating the enchiladas was very difficult.
Dinner/snack was salad with a hardboiled egg and a few other toppings.

Day 7.

Breakfast: crackers in bed, omelet with kale and caramelized onions.
Snack: matcha cocoa almond milk latte – a little bitter with no sweetener but still delicious.
Lunch: curried chicken salad (with tomato, almonds, and carrot instead of raisins and cashews), cucumbers, nori, and a bit of spaghetti squash.
Snack: frozen peas, a few bites of crackers and leftover broccoli quinoa bowl.
Dinner: Thai Turkey meatballs (homemade Thai curry paste, without sweetener), spaghetti squash, cabbage.
Bedtime snack: bone broth.

Week 1 down! Definitely doing the energy modifications next week as my muscles didn’t really recover even after a rest day Sunday, and going to add in the allowed piece of fruit next week, too. I wanted the first week to be stricter but am going to follow more closely to the book next week (including removing my modifications of a little bit of grain and peanut butter).

Day 8.
Breakfast: walnuts, an attempt at coconut flour free almond flour free crêpes, filled with avocado and chicken salad.
Snack: more avocado and chicken salad, cucumber
Lunch: leftovers, kombucha
Snack: frozen peas, almond butter, olives
Dinner: salmon burgers with eggplant buns and carmelized onion, zucchini, and roasted cauliflower leek soup (from the 21DSD cookbook).

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Day 9.
I didn’t need a pre breakfast snack this morning, which was nice, but then I really enjoyed my 2 egg omelet with kale, parsnip, and caramelized onion.
We made kale chips for a snack, and then I got really hungry for lunch and had a salmon Burger, some eggplant, zucchini, roasted carrots, a hardboiled egg, olives, and almond butter.
Afternoon snack was some more kale chips and some zucchini chip fails before heading to the grocery store, after which I ate my first green tipped banana! Yay for fruit!
Dinner was thanks to my enchilada cravings – a cauliflower enchilada bake (used leftover chicken though) that was pretty good and definitely helped the cravings.

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Days 10-12 were camping.
I packed nuts and carrot onion crackers for snacks, and we roasted apples one night and made banana boats another (mine was with almond butter and cocoa instead of pb and chocolate chips). Breakfast day 1 was a chorizo egg salsa skillet, day 2 we ate out in town, which was a challenge I had been looking forward to but ended up just being upsetting: I was so acutely aware I couldn’t have the French toast I wanted so badly and then they didn’t have sweet potatoes so I ate the white potatoes because there were no better sides… So I left feeling both deprived and like I cheated, especially since I could have made better scrambled eggs myself. Definitely the lowest moment so far.
But, my lunches were nori and salmon curry salad, a step above Ezra and S’s PB&J, with veggies.
Dinner the first night we had tinfoil dinners (that’s rutabaga in mine). The second night we had sausages (artichoke garlic for me), roasted carrots, some veggie chips Ezra bought for me, and I had a sweet potato for a bun and it was so tasty.
The night we got home I made chicken taco bowls based off of this.

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Day 13.

Crepes for breakfast! We found a recipe with no almond or coconut flour and decided today was a good day to try them out. Filled with chocolate almond butter + banana and onion + avocado.
Lunch was the fennel cinnamon braised pork from the 21dsd cookbook, with parsnip rutabaga mash and green beans. We don’t usually eat pork because I don’t love it but our grocery store had a punch card thing and we got 7 lbs of pork roast for free, so cut it in 3 and have frozen the other two sections.
For dinner we had salad, egg drop soup, and leftover grilled cabbage.
Snacks: nuts, S’s lunch leftovers, kombucha jello.

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Day 14
Breakfast today was an omelet filled with rutabaga hashbrowns and avocado, topped with nutritional yeast.
Snacks today: hard boiled egg, cauliflower hummus, kombucha jello, frozen banana with almond butter.
Lunch was leftover pork roast and salad.
For dinner I threw an onion, a head of garlic, a sweet potato, and some carrots in the crockpot, cooked on low all day, and then took the chicken out and broiled it for crispy skin before serving with celeriac mash. I had a mug of the broth with dinner, too, and it was so rich and sweet from the sweet potato and from it being the first batch of broth with that chicken.

Day 15.
it just got harder. Not because of my dream where I ate all the foods but because I have realized some of the things I was eating more of were making my indigestion worse… So no more nuts, cabbage, cauliflower, coconut, and a few other things.
So today I ate French Toast eggs for breakfast, leftover veggies and egg drop soup with avocado for lunch, frozen peas and kombucha jello for snacks, and we ended the day with Thai vegetable soup (with added chicken and spaghetti squash instead of rice vermicelli, and no coconut milk for me. I love this soup so much!).

Day 16.
Breakfast: fried eggs and kale, tea with coconut oil and gelatin
Snacks: tahini and veggies, green apple, hardboiled egg
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: salad with some green apple, goulash with rutabaga instead of potato and some sausage left at home from camping instead of stew meat.

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Day 17.

Started off the day with a sweet potato, kale, and egg frittata.
Lunch was pulled pork (with a BBQ sauce recipe we didn’t save because we ended up adding so much to it it wasn’t the same in the end) in plantain tortillas and salad.
Dinner was leftover soup, tuna zoodle casserole (thickened with arrowroot, and used broth instead of coconut milk), and some leftover frittata.
For snacks it was more of the usual: banana, hardboiled egg, cucumber and tahini.

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Day 18.

B:hard boiled egg, French toast scramble, a bit of grapefruit
L: salmon patties with sweet potatoes, avocado salsa, and zucchini. This was going to be my “victory” meal, but the way the last few days were going to be that wasn’t going to work, and then salmon has been SO expensive that I decided to try patties with canned salmon instead of using fillets. It worked alright – not quite as good but still yummy.
D: split before and after movie – leftover pulled pork and salad, leftover tuna zoodle casserole
S: cuke with BBQ sauce, egg, olives, and chocolate banana drink, my attempt at hot chocolate without any kind of even imitation milk.

Day 19.

Still not sure what’s causing indigestion and I am so over this but don’t want to reintroduce anything until I have an idea of what it might be.
Breakfast: parsnip and zucchini omelet
Lunch: leftover tuna zoodle casserole, leftover salmon patty and salsa
Dinner: chicken sofrito from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem but with sweet potatoes, slaw with daikon, apple, cucumber, and a lime balsamic dressing.
Snacks: veggies and tahini, part of a plantain tortilla, hard boiled egg.

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Day 20.
Sweet potato fritters and sautéed kale for breakfast.
Lunch was leftovers, dinner was a pumpkin chicken soup, olives, carrots, and tomatoes at a potluck, and we had hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, and avocado for snacks.
I’ve decided that chasing the rabbit trail of minor indigestion from things I’m eating is too exhausting at this point so am going to continue on with reintroducing things and hope it’s obvious if something makes it worse, knowing I may have to attempt a low FODMAP diet or something down the road.

Day 21
Breakfast: pumpkin plantain pancakes
Lunch: leftover soup
Snacks: hard boiled egg, daikon apple slaw, apple, peas
Dinner: meatballs, sauce, and spaghetti squash, green beans, salad with bacon, banana chocolate ‘ice cream for dessert.
Overdid it on the fruit a bit today but I feel fine and am so excited to eat some gluten free grains tomorrow!

Homemade almond milk
homemade mayonnaise (egg-free as I didn’t have my pastured eggs that week). It didn’t turn out that well, but oh well.

21 Day Sugar Detox

In May I did the 21 Day Sugar Detox and wanted to blog about it similarly to how I blogged about whole30, but with a little more detail and backstory – that’s this post. Another post will have my food log.
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Why?
For a long time now I’ve been feeling the need for a “reset” with food, but couldn’t bring myself to do it – with leaving Japan (and needing to stuff myself with all the sushi, ramen, and okonomiyaki as possible before then), then the holidays (where I actually did pretty well with self control), then settling in here, it always felt like too much to take on or like I would be passing up food opportunities that would never come again.
I also felt like I had lost a lot of self control with food, something I’d struggled with after whole30 when S was little and then again after Ellie was born (pregnancy cravings have nothing on nursing cravings!), and my attempts at limiting myself just weren’t working very well. I think I do a lot better with more challenge and accountability than just “one treat a week.”

Goals
My main goal was to reset some bad habits:
– grazing at potlucks
– finishing S’s food when I was already full
– eating out of craving and not hunger (lack of self control!). One thing I read recently said “Live to eat VS eat to live,” and as someone home most of the time and with a kitchen always available I often found myself in the former camp rather than the latter and wanted to change that.
– snacking on veggies not healthy treats
– eating when I was really just thirsty (mostly a problem in the morning)
– no freezing foods to eat after
– and no pinterest as much as possible – probably in some ways the biggest cravings-buster!

I was also watching a few other things, like irritability, focus, fatigue, some indigestion, and my skin to see if there was any difference there (I’ll be upfront… there wasn’t).

Daily food goals – I knew I needed clear daily food goals to help me not flounder when I was hungry. So every day I aimed for 1 Tbsp coconut oil, my supplements, 1 c bone broth, 1 Tbsp collagen, Brewer’s yeast, and water.

What I ate
I mostly followed the plan outlined in the book for level 3, but changed things up a bit the first week. I wanted to avoid sweet things completely, so instead of doing sweet potatoes and plantains for the energy modification and eating the allowed fruit, I allowed myself small portions of buckwheat or quinoa. I also indulged in some peanut butter because I woke up so hungry I was nauseous and jittery a few times and just had to eat something immediately and that was the only thing that worked then.
But after the first week I followed the plan almost exactly, though also threw in the “no treats” rule from whole30 (a few breakfasts and camping excepted). That had more to do with my goals and the habits I was trying to reset than anything else.

So that meant: no dairy, legumes, treats, most grains, most fruits. I also for the most part avoided coconut and almond flours and milks since they both are hard for me to digest.
This is a nice “cheat sheet.

What S & Ezra ate
Ezra wasn’t too keen on doing it with me, but since we eat almost all our food at or from home, he was still eating differently than normal, and I would try to do quinoa or buckwheat as a side grain instead of other things, and wasn’t making baked goods, so he was getting more fruit and veggies at home, but still eating everything at potlucks.
The same for S – I considered restricting her fruit and dessert but then decided against it since the only reason I would have would have been behavioral considerations but we aren’t really dealing with any of that so I found it unnecessary. However, that did mean not getting healthy baked goods for snacks so she now accepts a cucumber as a snack. 😉

I’m currently in the middle of reintro and may or may not blog about that. Since the things I was hoping to resolve didn’t go away during the 21DSD I don’t expect reintro will show me anything, but I didn’t want to skip it just in case.

Results
I didn’t feel any different and my digestive issues only got worse if anything, despite restricting more foods as I thought they might be bothering me. I do think it did help with cravings a little, though.

The real challenge of “eating well” is what starts now. It’s easy for me to not eat or crave things if I put them completely off-limits. Moderation is much more difficult! But one thing I realized on the 21DSD is that having portion control for some foods is not bad if instead of demonizing those foods they’re controlled to help you eat more of what’s not just “not bad” but more nutrient dense and “good.”
So here are some of my rules:
– one sweet treat/week (portion), and up to one “bigger” dessert/month (ie, out for ice cream)
– one homemade “healthy” treat/week (recipe, not portion)
– no mindless snacking/grazing
– “eat to live, not live to eat.”
– treat any non-fruit added sweetener as a treat.
– aim for half plate veggies at each meal (breakfast is tough!)
I love Jess Connell’s thoughts on food & body image at the end of this post.

I don’t plan on restricting any kinds of food completely. I felt this way after whole30 and this just reemphasizes it, that I think “healthy” is different for different people. I do much better with grains, and the alternatives are much harder for me to digest. 21DSD was probably the highest fat/lowest carb I’ve ever been and while I felt fine on the lower carb, I think some of my indigestion was from the higher fat content. Plus, for the most part, grains are more nutritive than coconut flour and almond flour, and easier for me to digest, so I think I’ll try to use the alternative flours less for my treats.

Camping for Mother’s Day

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We went camping “for” Mother’s Day: I wanted a few days away from the pull of chores, computer, dishes, etc. to really enjoy just being together. Ever since Ellie was born I have felt a lot of tension in those areas, especially with giving both girls enough attention, and have found myself really struggling with what exactly discipline with S looks like as we move into her starting to be able to teach her what’s going on in her heart (but without her fully understanding it yet), and throw in the internet and the tension was even greater.

So we camped, unplugged, with nothing on the agenda except a hike a day and hanging out and eating, and we did a lot of that and it was nice (we also did a lot of hiding in the tent or under the tarp in the biggest downpour we’ve had since moving here).

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But even without those distractions I still struggled to give my attention to the girls and love on them in their way (ie, Corduroy AGAIN). Yes, lack of sleep and the cold made me really cranky but it wasn’t an excuse. I kept thinking of something I had read earlier in the week about not sabotaging your own mother’s day by what you expected, and here I was sabotaging my own while trying to prevent that from happening by trying not to make it about me… when it still was.

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Because truly loving the girls means showing them love even when I don’t love how they make me feel, even when she’s asking the same question again and again and again. But in the end it isn’t even about saying “no” to myself and “yes” to S, but saying “no” to self and “Yes” to God’s commands to live in peace with everyone and to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit.

If I am the center of my mothering, then I get angry, irritated, and upset when my kids don’t make me happy or act how I want them to – and then that says to them that I am god and God is not enough.

If my kids are the center of my mothering, I become irritated and exhausted trying to meet their every need and keep them happy.

If, however, God is the center of my mothering, my concern is glorifying and obeying Him, raising them in the ways of God (which do include them learning love & self control but even more in putting Him forth as a glorious Savior), and in humility considering them as more important than myself because I see my true place in Him and am satisfied in Him.

Only in that frame of mind can I see clearly, love truly, be compassionate, and direct them on the paths they (we!) should go.

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we found the “perfect” campsite – secluded but not too far from bathrooms, water, and trailheads, big but not more expensive, and opening onto the woods and not other campsites, which made it feel even bigger and meant S could explore while we cooked.

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I should have known from when we went to the cabin when S was 8 months old, but 8 months is a tough time for camping. Ellie was worn or held a lot because all she wanted to do was eat pinecones.

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So much gorgeous handiwork by our Creator.